With three whirlwinds of enthusiasm to organise for this trip, we needed military precision in our preparations. Because otherwise we’d miss this beautiful walk we told him, wiping sweat off our foreheads and panting. Who owns this patch of land I say? He was warm in the sling wearing a small hoody, leg warmers and a balaclava and resting against the jumper I was wearing. Toddler adjusting to 24 hour unbounded living equals exhausted CaveMammy and CaveHusband! Fiona knows the park well so led us off towards the stream. I also had on rain trousers over leggings and, in a unprecedented scaling of fashion heights, wore a mac in a a sack backwards, using the toggles to tie it at the back of my neck and under CaveBaby’s bum. Daughters are treasures to their fathers, too, although they may also be the cause of a few sleepless nights. It’s all about perception. However, trade books--especially nonfiction--are still a powerful way to connect students to the events of the past. There were more trees at the top of this ridge and we could see the fort through them and then we came out on to open grass leading into another dip and hill with the fort looming at the top. Further on there’s another folly built high up on the side of the path. And just to prove that we hadn’t been magically transported to some wonderland of sunshine and warm breezes, we were treated once or twice to some downpours in the same place. I need not have worried. As parents, our job is to help them find answers and encourage them to ask more questions. They oohed and aahed at the orchids on the way in and were suitably impressed by all the jungle foliage in the big steamy dome at the centre. Here’s two from January. Next we waited at the level crossing for a train to pass and then walked up and over the raised footpath across the canal and on down towards the disused warehouses on the other side of the railway line. I couldn’t take my eyes off him for a second but he would have been in it. When your son is young, you may face feeding, toileting and sleep issues. So cute. I persuaded the boys to come up and look at it with me, but sure of course a toy that you can’t play with is of no use to a four year old so they hit the attached playroom while I walked around the HUGE dollshouse, grinning like a loon at little versions of everything. The boys spotted an embankment and went up to investigate. Balance, not usually my virtue, was found somewhere and  with disaster averted, we hooshed the whole crowd of them on towards the stream. CaveMammy and CaveBaby had a little sit down for ourselves on the walled edge and kicked our legs and watched the action. Nov. 29, 2020. Burpham, Guildford. Down by the lake, they spotted some steps and found the boat house hidden underneath (boathouse, batcave, take your pick). Especially in old developing areas, where meanwhile hardly any children live, such playgrounds are obsolete. They seem unaware that they live in a country where summer takes place on a specified weekend but hey, who am I to question the innocence of youth? After the escapades of the week before, the boys were warned within inches of their lives – do NOT fall into wet mud or water or you will be cold and miserable all the way home! For parents, it’s a break from supervising homework and packing lunches. I would have loved a photo of CaveBoy in that river but I felt I might be reported to some kind of service if my first response was to take out the camera. We wondered if we would be able to go inside (CaveMammy managing expectations in case if was some kind of blocked up unsafe structure). But given the early closure of the Botanics, we felt the move to tarmac, plastic and metal would be acceptable, just this once. We hiked in to the castle from the visitors centre in a dead heat, as shuttle buses passed us and CaveBoy wondered why we weren’t on the bus like everyone else. So we kitted ourselves out in our rain gear and went off up the road. Steps, raised paths, mossy nooks, streams and bridges – loads of chasing and hiding and upping and downing. Chill out when it’s chilly out with a pampering night in. Maybe next time, we won’t jump on the slippy rocks, I suggested. Click to zoom. For the warmth that was in it you see. At Castletown House near Celbridge, the kids were very impressed by the beautiful big house and then spent hours pottering at a small stream and tunnel, picking up sticks, mixing mud and running around and around the trees and ridges beside it. Not-Quite-Waterproof pink ski boots and had poor little wrinkled tootsies from all the waterlogging lovely forest path they played the. Ways to do, not too far up from the education centre – caught nothing CaveBaby! 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